Master of Arts Degree in Applied Mathematics

Mathematics is a universal language. Applied mathematics combines the beauty and function of mathematics to help us understand and improve the world around us. Since mathematics is universal, it can be applied anywhere. This is a particularly exciting aspect of applied mathematics.  Applied mathematicians help to design satellites, explain how our mind works and improve MRI machines. Applied mathematics allows one to find patterns that are common to many disciplines with a unifying mathematical structure. A problem in neuroscience sometimes has the same mathematical structure as doing an internet search! Applied mathematics allows one to make that connection. 

The Department of Mathematics at California State University, Fullerton offers a graduate program in applied mathematics leading to the Master of Arts Degree. The program is intended for individuals who are seeking or who currently hold positions that involve mathematical or quantitative applications. It was developed in consultation with mathematicians and scientists in the local industrial community. The coursework emphasizes modern applied mathematics, modeling, and computation. Every class involves the use of modern interactive software for numerical computation and simulation modeling, including MATLAB and R. Graduates have gone on into successful careers in industry and in teaching at the college level. Several have also obtained advanced degrees in Mathematics, Engineering, and Science.



Students seeking admission to the program must have the following:

  1. Bachelor's degree in mathematics or related area from an accredited college or university
  2. Four semesters of Calculus, a computer programming course or equivalent experience, and upper division courses in mathematical probability and advanced calculus/analysis
  3. Overall GPA of at least 2.5 and a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all upper division mathematics courses, or a combination of previous course work and work experience approved by the graduate committee of the Mathematics Department. 


Application Procedure

Students must submit the following:

  1. Official transcript sent to CSUF's Admissions and Records. 
  2. Complete the online CSUF graduate applicationOpens in new window .
  3. Compete the supplemental application: 

    Supplemental Application - PDFPDF File Opens in new window

    Supplemental Application - DOCOpens in new window

  4. (optional) Letters of recommendation.
  5. (optional) GRE Scores.
  6. International students should visit this International Admissions OfficeOpens in new window for additional information and requirements.

Applicants must upload the supplemental application (3) above in the "Program Materials" section of your online Cal State Apply application under “Other” in the Documents tab.

Application deadline for Fall: July 1.

Application deadline for Spring: December 1.

Financial aid, including teaching/research assistantships and out-of-state tuition fee waiver, is available.  If you need more information, you may contact the Graduate Advisor Dr. Charles H. Lee at charleshlee@fullerton.eduOpens in new window  or at (657) 278-2726. For administrative question please contact Jennifer Menser at jmenser@fullerton.eduOpens in new window .



We offer interested masters students, depending on availability, part-time instructor positions where they teach one or more of our elementary mathematics courses.  Applications for the Teaching Associate (TA) position will be accepted during the spring and summer to teach the following fall semester.  For our TA Job Description and application procedure please see the Math Departments TA Employment pageOpens in new window .  

If you need more information, you may contact the Graduate Advisor Dr. Charles H. Lee at charleshlee@fullerton.eduOpens in new window  or at (657) 278-2726. For administrative question please contact Renee Bennett at rbennett@fullerton.eduOpens in new window .



The program starts in the fall semester and can be completed in two academic years, including a summer in between. All required courses are offered sequentially during the evening with six units per semester.

Fall Semester (first year)

Math 489A,B: Applicable Analysis and Linear Algebra. This course gives a solid preparation for graduate coursework in applied mathematics and it includes the following topics: a survey of linear algebra and analysis, finite and infinite dimensional vector spaces, linear transformations and matrices, normed and inner product spaces, contractive maps and fixed point iteration, The Projection Theorem and applications, initial and boundary – value problems, series solutions, eigenvalues and eigenfunctions, Fourier analysis, and generalized functions.


Spring Semester (first year)

Math 501A,B: Numerical Analysis and Computation. This is an intensive course on numerical analysis and computational techniques. The topics include linear and nonlinear systems of equations, numerical linear algebra, interpolation and approximation with applications to numerical differentiation, integration and function evaluation, numerical solutions of ordinary and partial differential equations, spline functions and the finite element method, error analysis, comparison and limitations of algorithms.


Summer Term (end of first year)

Math 502A,B: Probability and Statistics. Topics include probability models, univariate & multivariate distributions, expectations, sampling theory, statistical estimation, Bayesian methods, hypothesis testing, and introduction to linear models.


Fall Semester (second year)

Math 503A,B: Mathematical Modeling & Simulation. Topics include mathematical methods used in the development and analysis of mathematical models in science and engineering, dimensional analysis, mathematical modeling based on ordinary & partial differential equations, application of probability models and statistical methods in engineering and operations research, introduction to stochastic processes including topics in signal and image processing, and Monte Carlo simulation.


Spring Semester (second year)

Math 597: Graduate Project. The culminating experience is a project, which replaces the standard comprehensive examinations or thesis requirements. Students work in teams on projects that are sponsored and funded by local industrial firms.  Each team is supervised by a faculty member.  The project is intended to provide a realistic industrial-like experience, complete with deadlines and a written final report, where students can put what they have learned to work, and where success is based on individual initiative, teamwork, and communication skills.



Derdei Bichara, Assistant Professor, Mathematical Biology, Dynamical Systems, Control Theory

Nicholas Brubaker, Assistant Professor, Mathematical Modeling, Fluids, Electrostatics and Elasticity

Laura Smith Chowdhury, Associate Professor,  Mathematical Modeling, Complex Networks, Differential Equations

Charles Hung Lee, Professor, Computational Mathematics, Fluid Dynamics, Aerospace Engineering

Tyler McMillen, Professor, Nonlinear Dynamics, Differential Equations, Neuroscience

Anael Verdugo, Assistant Professor, Nonlinear Dynamics, Differential Equations, Computational Biology


Research and More

Faculty members in the modeling and computation track are actively involved in research areas which include aerospace engineering, social networks, cellular biology, epidemiology, and small-scale systems. They have obtained grants from the National Aerospace and Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support their research. 

Faculty members regularly work with students in their projects and have found funding for students from their research grants.  Research is a wonderful way to use the ideas from courses in a “real world” situation.  Faculty members work with students in research projects which often lead to publications and presentations by students at local and national meetings.

The industrial relevance of applied mathematics can be seen through the industrial projects in which faculty serve as consultants and the patents they obtain from their inventions.



Graduates from the Master’s Program in Applied Mathematics have a broad range of career options.  Recent graduates work in industry as scientific programmers, go into doctorate programs in applied mathematics, statistics, or engineering, as well as become teachers in community colleges.  The problem solving skills along with the mathematical and computing knowledge obtained through coursework are valued by employers and graduate schools.

Employers of applied mathematicians include aerospace companies (e.g., Boeing), biotech companies (e.g., Amgen), financial companies (e.g., PIMCO), internet companies (e.g., Google) and research laboratories (e.g., NASA).  The beauty of applied mathematics is that it is both interesting and useful.  Because of this, applied mathematicians are hired by a huge range of companies.  More information about the types of jobs available to applied mathematicians can be found in the careers website of the Society for Industrial and Applied MathematicsOpens in new window (SIAM).